I get a lot of emails and messages on social media asking me about what equipment I use in my newborn photography sessions. Most often – people want to know what lenses I use to best capture babies. Over the past 6 years I’ve tried all sorts of lenses. To be honest, I change my mind about what my favourite is all the time! Here is a bit of a run down on some of the most popular lenses for baby photography and why. (I’ve tried them all at one point in my career or another!).
The Best Lenses for Newborn & Baby Photography
Currently, I use a Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 prime lens for 98% of my sessions (although due to reading some RAVE reviews about the equivalent Sigma Art lens I have just purchased one of these so I’ll keep you posted on which I prefer!). I really love this lens as it gives me lots of room around my subject. This means I don’t need to change lenses for the wider shots such as shots in props and baskets. The 35mm lives on my camera most of the time. I use it for my own personal photos of my family as well. It’s great in low light and has beautiful bokeh at wider apertures.
The 35mm is a great lens for pretty much all baby photography. It’s super versatile! If you’re concerned about any barreling effect on your images, be sure to click the ‘profile correction’ option in Lightroom to help!
The only time I take my 35mm off my camera is for close up macro shots. For these shots I currently use a Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. I love this lens for all the detail shots of baby’s eyelashes, lips, face, and toes. I also love using this lens to capture beautiful general macro shots of flowers and insects (when I find the time!). When I’m done with the closeups during a session though – off comes this lens and back on with the 35!
-24-70mm f/2.8 Up until about 6 months ago I used my Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 for all of my baby photo sessions. I really liked this lens as you have the ability to shoot wide for prop shots (especially basket shots where you need some extra room when looking down on the baby) and not having to take your lens off for closer shots of baby on the beanbag. I ended up moving to my 35mm after about 18 months… mainly because I’ve always had a bit of a thing for fixed lenses. Also, generally speaking – zoom lens the images aren’t quite as sharp as fixed lenses.. I also like shooting a bit wider open than 2.8 for shots of baby on their own on the beanbag.
-50mm f1.4 I used this lens when I first started newborn photography (many moons ago!). This was the most popular lens for baby photography at the time. I used to use this in conjunction with a 35 for the wider shots. Overall I was happy with this lens, however at that time I used to work in a very small studio space so I found it tricky. The 35mm gives you a bit more flexibility – particularly when you are working in a small area. This is no longer an issue for me since I moved into my beautiful big studio space, but I still prefer having a bit more wiggle room. The main reason I stopped using this lens was because I was getting annoyed having to change lenses all the time during my sessions. I would use this for my shots of baby on their own, then switch to my macro lens for close ups, then switch to the 35 for prop and parent shots. I found this a bit of a pain.
I hope you found this post interesting! If you did – I’d love to hear from you! Or if you’re a newborn or baby photographer, I’d love to hear what lenses are your favourites.